Have you, or someone you know, ever gone to a hospital for treatment only to get the condition deteriorated due to a lack of proper patient safety measures? Chances are you have. In fact, we all know someone who has been at the receiving end of such medical negligence. It is those people the World Patient Safety Day is dedicated to.
The objectives of World Patient Safety Day are to promote global awareness about, and urgent action on, medication-related harm due to medication errors and unsafe practices.
World Patient Safety Day History
World Patient Safety Day was instituted by World Health Organization (WHO) in May 2019 when the 72nd World Health Assembly adopted resolution WHA 72.6 on 'Global action on patient safety.'
List of WHO Days
There are many world days observed across the year by the WHO. Each day is dedicated to the fight against a particular disease or a health problem - from Alzheimer's to Zoonoses. However, WHO pays particular attention to 10 days and 2 weeks. so much so that they have been declared "official" global public health days by the WHO and all its member states. These prominent WHO Days are:
- World TB Day: 24 March
- World Health Day: 7 April
- World Chagas Disease Day: 14 April
- World Malaria Day: 25 May
- World No Tobacco Day: 31 May
- World Blood Donor Day: 14 June
- World Hepatitis Day: 28 June
- World Patient Safety Day: 17 September
- World Aids Day: 1 December
- World Neglected Tropical Disease Day: 30 January
World Immunization Week: 24-30 April
World Antimicrobial Awareness Week: 18-24 November
What is Patient Safety
All the activities are done in medical care to prevent and minimize risks, errors and harm that may occur to patients admitted there come under Patient Safety.
World Patient Safety Day 2022 Theme
The theme for World Patient Safety Day 2022 is 'Medication Safety' with the slogan 'Medication Without Harm'.
World Patient Safety Day Significance
We all fall sick and need medications and medical care at some point in our life. However, the same medications can do us more harm than good if they have been incorrectly stored, prescribed, dispensed, administered or monitored wrongly.
Unsafe medication practices and medication errors are leading causes of avoidable harm in health care across the world. Medication errors happen when weak medication systems and human factors such as staff fatigue or negligence, staff shortages and lack of training, affect the safety of the patient under medical supervision. This can result in severe patient harm, disability and even death. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the resultant burden on medical practitioners due to it, have also contributed significantly to the risk of medication errors and harms associated with it.
The day calls on the global medical fraternity to prevent and prioritize actions on, significant patient harm due to unsafe medication practices. The harm is most likely to happen due to polypharmacy (using multiple medications at the same time) and using medicines that are similar in looks and names instead of the authentic ones by mistake. Special care has to be taken during transitions of care, failing which result in significant harm to patient safety.
Objectives of World Patient Safety Day 2022:
- Engage key stakeholders such as policy-makers, medical practitioners, pharmacies, and others, in the efforts to prevent medication errors and reduce medication-related harm.
- Empower patients and their families with the knowledge to be actively involved in the safe use of medication.
How World Patient Safety Day is Celebrated?
- A series of events, seminars, webinars and other activities promoting medication safety is held globally by the who on this day
- WHO produces a number of medication safety solutions and technical products every year to help medical practitioners minimize risk to the patient under their care.
- The plan is to light up Geneva's Jet d'Eau in orange colour as part of the World Patient Safety Day 2022 celebration